SOME OF CHICAGO’S INNOVATIVE AND CREATIVE
BRANDS THAT YOU CAN FIND AT THE CHICAGOMADE LOUNGE IN AUSTIN
Aiwa, the iconic audio brand, relaunched in Chicago. in early 2015. The refreshed Aiwa brand is helmed by Joe Born, the veteran inventor and creator of the Skip Dr, and supported by a highly experienced team that has been working together for decades. The Aiwa brand has long stood for straightforward expectations of sound quality and reliability. With this new group gathered under the brand, Aiwa is bringing a renewed focus on true listening experiences to home audio.
Since 1995 Busy Beaver Button Co. has gone from a one-woman operation in Christen Carter’s college apartment to a company with fifteen employees and their own building in the Humbolt Park neighborhood of Chicago. They’ve overseen over 60,000 designs and produced millions upon millions of custom buttons for clients like Brooklyn Brewery, The Art Institute of Chicago, Threadless, WordPress as well as thousands of bands, non-profits, small businesses and other great folks.
Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people. Unlike most of the party games you’ve played before, Cards Against Humanity is as despicable and awkward as you and your friends. The game was created by a group of Chicago-area high school friends who now headquarter out of “Some Office,” their co-working space for nice people making cool things in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago.
The Chicago Design Museum strives to unite, inform, and inspire. As a resource for the design community and beyond, the museum facilitates an open dialogue about contemporary and historical design through limited-engagement exhibitions, events, public programs, and digital media. The Chicago Design Museum is an adaptable and non-traditional organization that celebrates and shares design excellence.
Eli’s Cheesecake was the dream of Chicago restaurateur and celebrity in his own right, Eli M. Schulman. Over his almost 50-year career, he developed a reputation for serving up great food, providing outstanding service and making every customer feel important. Representing the spirit of the city he loved, Eli was dedicated to helping the community. His motto “charity will never bust you” was exemplified during the great depression, by a sign hanging in his restaurant’s window “if you are hungry and have no money we will feed you for free.” Eli passed this legacy on to his son Marc, the President of the Eli’s Cheesecake Company. In 1980, Eli’s Cheesecake made its public debut at the first Taste of Chicago and it was a mega-hit! For the past 33 years, Eli’s has been the #1 dessert at the food festival, selling over 2 million slices. Eli’s has grown from a local favorite to one of the country’s largest specialty bakeries, with one simple goal: create the best cheesecakes and desserts possible, using the finest ingredients available, and share the company’s success with its talented associates and the community.
Field Notes is inspired by the vanishing subgenre of agricultural memo books, ornate pocket ledgers, and the simple, unassuming beauty of a well-crafted grocery list. These familiar notebooks are a collaboration between Coudal Partners of Chicago, and the Draplin Design Company of Portland, Oregon who hope they’ve created “an honest memo book, worth fillin’ up with good information.”
Gramovox is a consumer electronics start-up that reimagines vintage audio design with modern technology. Born in the greatest city in the world—Chicago—they pride themselves in hand-assembling their products.
Established in 2008, KOVAL produces grain-to-bottle organic whiskey, liqueurs and specialty spirits in Chicago’s first distillery since the mid-1800s. Founders Robert and Sonat Birnecker, vowed to make organic spirits from scratch and change the way people understand whiskey.
Lagunitas Brewing Company was founded in 1993 in Lagunitas, California by Chicago native Tony Magee. Known for their interpretations of traditional beer styles, and descriptive text and stories on its packaging, Lagunitas is the fifth-largest craft brewing company in the US. After moving to the Douglas Park neighborhood of Chicago in 2012, Lagunitas now stands as Chicago’s largest craft brewery.
MINIMAL is a Chicago product design and brand innovation consultancy, creating iconic, disruptive products and experiences that connect emotionally with people. From brand-amplifying icons and game-changing new product ecosystems for Fortune 500 companies, to exploring uncharted territory in partnership with startups and entrepreneurs, MINIMAL’s award-winning work reflects a diverse range of industries, from technology, medical and consumer products, to lifestyle, furniture, and environments.
Shawnimals is a Chicago design studio founded by Shawn “Shawnimal” Smith and his wife and business partner Jen Brody in 2002. Since inception, Shawnimals have received international recognition for their unique deigns and the original line of character-branded products. From a handful of simple yet endearing handmade plush toys, Shawnimals has blossomed into a full-fledged company making significant contributions to the world of designer toys and beyond.
NBCUniversal is producing more content in Chicago than ever. Shows like Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago PD, are all produced out of Cinespace Film Studios, a massive sound-stage on Chicago’s southwest side. In fact, at 1.45 million sq. ft, it’s one of the largest in the world, where all sorts of hollywood movies, indies, and TV shows are filmed. Chicago is also home to Studio Xfinity, a 9,000-square-foot store bringing together the best TV and Internet technology in a unique experience serving as a test environment for customers. Unique to Chicago, the store serves as an interactive space where customers can experience a wide range of Internet, video, voice, home security, and automation products and services.
Simply put, we want to make life a little better. Three short words. One powerful message. A tiny sticker, shared over 1 million times, creating smiles on every continent of the world (including Antarctica). Grabbing strangers unexpectedly in the grind of their daily life, and unapologetically saying it’s ok to be human. It began simply with 100 stickers in 2002 in Chicago, and has since evolved into block-long murals, public installations, and exhibitions at cultural institutions involving thousands of artists.